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Book Re-Review - In Solitude's Shadow

Updated Review 5*

I gotta say, reading minus Covid makes for a far better experience.

I really enjoyed it the second time around, Zanna still stood out, Calene rocks and I'm fairly indifferent to Kade. Brina also seems quite intriguing and a good bet for a solid secondary character, or one to play around with. Villainy abounds in secular and mystic avenues and that is before you you throw in a couple of races onto of base humans in trying to discover their true potential.

Fair to see it ticks a number of boxes and the background world-building is pretty vivid, effortless, and is easily comparable with Rob J Hayes, M.L. Spencer, Michael J Sullivan and Feist's Riftwar (but with functional female characters). Feist in particular is a direct comparison, with a double species migration, Riyira for species persecution and a nod to Rhenwars for the magical setup. All of which is no disservice to David Green, Most plot concepts are a reworking with a twist, and combining them in a punchy package with minimal bloat is a skill, which works here.

The ending is brutal and unforgiving, and isn't so much because of actions and inactions but the unanticipated side effect of human failings and how they are ripple outwards in consequence and chaos

With the second book in hand, it picks up as it lefts off and ramps up the darkness and mayhem and shows it is a series to look out for and consume.

Not to self - must get back to reading more.

Original Review:-

Started before Covid. Attempted to read with Covid and finished after covid with half a brain.

A solid, well-rounded novel, with a nifty backstory to unleash a brutal series of events and the odd genocide. The three races are interesting and I'm curious to to see how they interact as the series progresses and political factions clash.

Zanna and Celene have a conflicted relationship and their conflict is cleverly handled to keep them at a distance, as events drop into place and the secondary characters come into play. I see hints of Feist and Gemmell as the last third kicks into play. Armies on the march to annihilate the other races, a citadel of magicians to hold back a horde as the threat is dismissed and an unlikely mix of individuals piecing events and motives together.

The real twist is at the end after things go boom, but the manner in which the races intertwine is the real hook to see how it contends against the corruption of the empire and mankind. When it comes it is over all too soon, which is no bad thing.

Zanna stole it for me, but I felt there was possibly one POV too many in the story synergy which covid brain struggled with in the second half. One to look forward to re-reading in the near future, and where the follow up leads to. Well worth anyone's dosh (for the cover) and a definite buy eet!

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